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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feeling Pixilated

On her blog, Becca recently posted a video of some animation experimentation she's doing, using her own face as the puppet. Which seems like a good excuse to mention the art of Pixilation -- which is the name for the technique she's using. ("Pixilation" itself, as a word, lives in the funny zone between being "pixilated," which means being drunk, and being "pixelated," which means being broken up into boxy lo-res squares).

Wikipedia has a page on Pixilation here, which is a good starting point for hunting down examples of the technique -- probably the two most famous animators who have used it are Jan Svankmajer and Norman McLaren. McLaren won an Oscar for his pixilated short "Neighbors," posted below:

"Neighbors" is actually one of my least favorite of the McLaren films I've seen -- once you know where it's going (which is pretty early into the film), the rest seems a foregone conclusion -- though there are some nice bits of whimsy strewn along the way. A smaller (but better quality) version of "Neighbors" is posted up on the National Film Board of Canada's website -- their animation section has posted up many of the animated films they produced over the years -- it's an amazing collection of work, now up for web viewing, and any enthusiast of animation owes it to themselves to spend some time browsing.


  1. No problem. I hope it doesn't seem too impersonal to post up a response to what you're doing on the SNC blog rather than your blog-- I've just had it in my head that it might make sense to post responses and recommendations here in a way that's more public for other students who might be interested/intrigued.